Standing with Israel

July 3, 2006 at 2:58 pm (Islamism, Israel, Middle East, Palestinian Territories)

I stand with Israel at a very difficult time.

The terrorists gave an ultimatum: the Israelis had until 6 [am] Israeli time, [July] 4, to release the prisoners or else. The meaning of “or else” is assumed to be the execution of Cpl. Gilad Shalit. (I pray he remains safe and alive, and is returned safe and alive to Israel.) It is right now around 9:50 am, [July] 3, US Central time, and it is around 5:50 pm[ of the same day] in Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has declared that Israel will not negotiate with terrorists, and demanded that Cpl. Shalit be released unharmfed. (For more information, read “Statement demands prisoner release by 6:00 a.m. Tuesday” by Gil Hoffman and Herb Keinon of The Jerusalem Post, with the Associated Press.)

I read somewhere last night that some in Israel were willing to release certain prisoners, but I’m glad to see that Prime Minister Olmert remains strong. Releasing prisoners may result in the release of Cpl. Shalit, but it will also result in the commencement of a campaign of kidnapping to release more detained terrorists and attain more goals. This would not be good for Israel at all.

One article in The Jerusalem Post compared the two responses to such tactics of kidnapped or detained Israelis. One was the diplomatic/concessionary route: try to negotiate a release, which would involve capitulating to certain concessions the Arabs may make. This was done with the Lebanese to retrieve the corpses of captured soldiers, and with Hamas to retrieve Mossad agents arrested and imprisoned in Jordan for poisoning Khaled Masha’al (khaalid masha’al). As understandable as these policies may have been, it created the expectation that Israel will capitulate when Israelis are captured. The other response is what Olmert is doing: responding to an abduction with force and intense pressure. This will serve as a deterrent to future kidnappings and abductions.

I hope and pray for the best – the unconditional release of a safe, alive, and unharmed Shalit – but I am also preparing for the worst. In which case the terrorists will suffer for their abominable acts. May Masha’al be taken out with the rest of the terrorists.

Update: Corrected the date. I thought it was already July 4 in Israel, but it isn’t. There’s still more time. Also, for some reason I also wrote “June” instead of “July.” I must be in denial that it’s July already.

Update 2: I initially thought the deadline was at 6 pm, but it was actually for 6 am. It is now around 10:30 pm, July 3, US Central time, and around 6:30 am, July 4, in Israel. The deadline has passed.

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